Economic freedom is part of the American psyche. It has been engrained in this nation for over 240 years.
Now for the bad news:
Number 17 American people.
Many of you may not remember growing 1950’s, the proud and victorious veterans of the greatest war ever to have been fought running our country. But according to Cato, "The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to enter and compete in markets, and protection of persons and their property from aggression by others. Economic freedom is present when individuals are permitted to choose for themselves and engage in voluntary transactions as long as they do not harm the person or property of others."
The criteria for such a study involved economic freedom within a nation based on five areas: size of government including, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation.
Now for the utterly sad part:
- From 1980 to 2000, the United States was generally rated the third “freest economy,” behind only Hong Kong and Singapore, and in 2000 it was ranked second.
- The rating dropped to No. 8 in 2005, to No. 16 in 2010, and to No. 17 in 2011, the most recent year for which sufficient data is available.
- Hong Kong earns the top spot in the new report, followed by Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Finland, Bahrain, Canada, and Australia.
- Among large economies, the United Kingdom is at (our closest ally):
- Number 12, Germany 19, Japan 33, France 40, Russia 101, Brazil 102, India 111 and China 123.
The 10 lowest-rated countries among the 152 entities studied?
Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Angola, Chad, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, Myanmar and in last place, thanks to the late Hugo Chavez (sorry Sean Penn), Venezuela.
The poorest 10 percent of the population in nations in the bottom quartile had an average yearly income of just $932 in 2011.
Feeling better about where we are headed as a nation?
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